Jacob Koshy grew up in Singapore with one driving ambition – he wanted to be rich. He wanted nice things, expensive things. That led him into the world of drugs and gambling. Eventually he became the head of an international smuggling network. But in 1980 he was arrested and placed in a government prison. Government prisons in Singapore are tough places.
Jacob became so despondent and so depressed he considered suicide. All his money, all his possessions and all his dreams were gone. His heart was cold and empty and all he thought about was just dying and getting it over with.
Koshy was also a chronic, two –pack a day cigarette smoker, but smoking wasn’t allowed in the prison. Yet, a former girlfriend was somehow able to smuggle him in some tobacco. Koshy was using the thin pages of his Gideon Bible to roll cigarettes. One day he fell asleep while smoking and when he awoke he found his cigarette had burned out. All that remained was a charred scrap of paper. He unrolled it and read the small portion of Scripture. It was the question of Jesus to Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9 “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Jacob asked for another Bible and he read the entire story of Saul of Tarsus. He realized that if God could help a man like Saul then maybe there was hope for him. There in his cell he knelt and prayed and asked God to come into his life and change him. Amazingly, God did. Koshy began to share his story with other prisoners.
After he was finally released, he became involved in church and eventually met and married a Christian woman. Today they are serving as missionaries to the Far East. Far and wide he tells his story. His signature line is - Who would have believed that you could find the truth by smoking the Word, but with God anything is possible.
Jacob’s story reminds me that the greatest miracle is the miracle of a changed life. God specializes in taking wrecked and ruined lives and making them new.
No matter who you are. No matter what you’ve done, Jesus Christ can transform you into a new person.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (II Corinthians 5: 17)
Have a great week!
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